* Posts by Rich 2

252 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

Rich 2


Can someone tell me why the whole world has flocked to Google's Chrome browser?

After all the noise about data slurping etc etc, I am at a loss as to why anyone would want to use it?

(I appreciate Chromium isn't Chrome, but the latter is the main user of the former)

YouTube fight gets dirty: Kids urged to pester parents over Article 13

Rich 2


Google do seem to be doing a fine job lately of pointing out what a truly reprehensible, money-grabbing, privacy-invading, despicable, above-the-law company they are.

Do they have any redeeming qualities left? No, I didn't think so.

Domain name 'admin' role eyed up as latest victim of Whois system's GDPRmeggdon

Rich 2

Losing @ mark l 2

You need grounds for an appeal. If you have no grounds, or the court thinks your "grounds" are groundless then they will not allow the appeal.

In ICANN's case, I can only think the court allowed all these appeals because they fancied a laugh

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

Rich 2


Am I correct in reading (probably on El Reg) some time ago that Germany had abandoned its smart meter roll-out because it was a waste of money?

And if that's so, how does that tally with it being an EU directive?

Net neutrality is heading to the courts (again): So will the current rules stand or be overturned (again)?

Rich 2


Here in the UK, we complain (a lot) about BT, EE, Vodafone, the government, OFCOM, etc etc.

It's only when you read something like this that you realise the it could be worse. A LOT worse!

Linux kernel Spectre V2 defense fingered for massively slowing down unlucky apps on Intel Hyper-Thread CPUs

Rich 2

That can't be right!

You quoted Linus several times, but where was the profanity? I can only guess the anger management therapy or whatever it is he said he was doing is working.

Well, f*ck me!

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

Rich 2


Popular does not equal useful though.

If you want to limit the list to useful, then that would be C, C++, (oh, go on then....) java, Fortran, assembler. I'm sure there's a couple of other too.

You might even find the odd shell script useful, or even (gawd help us) Perl, but these are hacky scripting languages and while definitely useful, not really what I would categorise as a genuine programming language for making stuff work.

Notably absent from my list would by Python. I don't feel the need to elucidate.

It's November 2018, and Microsoft's super-secure Edge browser can be pwned eight different ways by a web page

Rich 2


I wonder how many CRITICAL flaws have been found in M$ various browser versions, Word, and Excel over the years.

It's got to be approaching something like the number of atoms in the universe by now. As for Adobe's crapware - they've got to be approaching infinity I would t think.

Software bugs is one thing, but I am genuinely intrigued how it's possible to write ANY software with that many critical faults. I mean, you must have to put REAL effort in to do that. It's staggering

Just a little heads up: Google is still trying to convince everyone that web apps don't suck

Rich 2
Big Brother

"We want to close the capability gap between the web and native and make it easy for developers to build great experiences on the open web,"

I have to ask myself WHY? And the only reason I can come up with is because it's much easier for Google to spy on you if you're using one of its web applications than if you're not. They're not pushing this to give you and me the punter any benefit. They are doing it to make money.

As for "Google refers to this expansion set of browser capabilities using the name of a toxic blowfish"

...sounds like an ideal name for anything Google has anything to do with

French president Macron insists new regulations needed to protect us all from Facebook's claws

Rich 2
Thumb Up


Maybe. Just maybe.... he's right

The internet seems to be divided into the bits that have long-since started their decent into the sewer, and the bits who's **ONLY** purpose is to spy on as many people as it can and gather as much information as possible on those people

The situation s certainly getting no better any time soon, so I'd be prepared to listen to what Mr Macron has to say.

Chinese teen braniacs are being trained to build new AI weapons

Rich 2

How stupid are we?

....and we have these people building nuclear power plants here in Blighty?


The D in Systemd stands for 'Dammmmit!' A nasty DHCPv6 packet can pwn a vulnerable Linux box

Rich 2

Re: Old is good

"Also: he refusal to accept patches to let it work on non-Linux Unix is just plain nasty"

Thank goodness this crap is unlikely to escape from Linux!

By the way, for a systemd-free Linux, try void - it's rather good.

Facebook, Google sued for 'secretly' slurping people's whereabouts – while Feds lap it up

Rich 2

Re: Most people don't care until

"...that's why I have a separate google account for work"

Why have a google account at all???

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

Rich 2

Hee Hee Hee

Ecuador (or rather the poor souls having to put up with him in the embassy) must be getting REEEEEEEEEEEALY fed up with JA by now.

Maybe run a poll - The top ten things you did and regretted later;-

#1 Giving JA refuge

GDPR stands for Google Doing Positively, Regardless. Webpage trackers down in Europe – except Big G's

Rich 2

GDPR and why Google isn't being sued

Why isn't Google being sued by the EU? They quite blatantly play games with GDPR compliance (I'm sure many reading this have tried opting out of Goodle's tentacles and witnessed what a farce it is) and the EU (or whatever branch it is that is supposed to manage this stuff) should have started suing them on day on of GDPR.

...but they are not. Why?

The march of Amazon Business has resellers quaking in their booties

Rich 2

Shut it down

I'm all for fair competition etc etc, but when a complete disaster is about to unfold, maybe it's time to take pre-emptive action.

Maybe Amazon (and the likes of Google etc) should be forcibly shut down, or at least severely curtailed. Otherwise, in a few years there will be only one or two retail outfits and that is clearly in nobody's interest apart from the particular retailers.

It's draconian. It's anti-business. It's lots of things that are against free trade, "market forces", etc etc, but the alternative is to sleep walk into a disaster where we no longer have any high-street shops at all, and no choice at all.

The Obama-era cyber détente with China was nice, wasn't it? Yeah well it's obviously over now

Rich 2


So remind me again, why do we (primarily Europe and the US) keep throwing money at a state that has an appalling human rights record, routinely locks up anyone who it doesn't like, has an appalling environmental record, is hostile to anything outside of itself, and has no recognisable morals at all; has, basically, an abhorant government that has its eye on world domination and enslavement?

Then again, we think nothing of fucking-up the planet either!

Intel's commitment to making its stuff secure is called into question

Rich 2

JTAG piggybacked on USB is madness too

I think the main reason you have JTAG over USB is because machines don't come with a serial port any more. In fact, the ONLY usable (ie, not video etc) interface many come with is USB

Cookie clutter: Chrome saves Google cookies from cookie jar purges

Rich 2

Re: "Why do people still use Chrome?"

What I don't understand is why tech-savvy people who KNOW chrome is a big ball of spyware still use it.

Ditto for facebook

Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

Rich 2

Couldn't agree more - some people just have too much time on their hands

What next? Change the names of the colours black and white? It's ludicrous

And on a more general note, how exactly do you become "offended"? It's very in-vogue these days. I don't think I have ever been "offended" by anything? Ever. In fact, I'm not even sure what it means

Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)

Rich 2

Just like MS

This is exactly akin to Microshaft's "brilliant" idea of hiding file name extensions.

Because that's not caused any grief at all over the years, has it?

Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

Rich 2


I thought Voyager 2 was launched before Voyager 1. But Voyager 1 was faster, hence it overtook V2.

And just to confuse things, V2 was originally going to be V1, but there was a last minute hitch with V1 (or was it V2?) so NASA swapped them over.


Texas ISP slams music biz for trying to turn it into a 'copyright cop'

Rich 2

...then make a policy

"To be eligible for the safe harbor, an ISP is required, among other things, to adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for the termination of subscribers and account holders that are repeat copyright infringers,"

Simple! Just make a policy then. The policy can say that you're going to ignore the issue. Perfectly legit as long as you follow it and can show that you're following it

Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem

Rich 2


These companies really needs to get over their over-inflated worth of themselves.

As has already been pointed out, what the hell are you going to do with Intel processor microcode except use it to program an Intel processor?


Bloke hurls sueball over Google's 'is it off yet?' location data slurping

Rich 2

Not just location data

ALL of Google's opt-out procedure is intentionally complicated. You have to press zillions of buttons to switch everything off. And it doesn't seem to matter how many times you do it, it all comes flooding back the next time you use their site!

This is also true for most other web sites out there that like to collect your data.

I think the GDPR peeps missed a trick here - they should have stated that opting out must be as simple as opting in.

Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

Rich 2

No, but...

Re "Apple doesn't do this"

I find it odd (well, OK, not odd at all, because it seems to be expected these days) that the privacy setting in IOS for switching on/off location services is the only one that pops up with a warning when you try to switch it off; "are you sure you want to switch this off? - it's really lovely you know".

It comes up with no "are you sure you want to switch this on? - It's really creepy you know" warning when you switch it on though.

In fact, Apple seem to have made the whole settings part of IOS as complicated and difficult to navigate as possible. But that's a different subject.

UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

Rich 2

What a bunch of tools

"...but HMRC has assumed it is present in all public sector contractor engagements."

Yes, HMRC has a very long track record of making stuff up as it goes along and assuming stuff is a certain way because it happens to suite their needs.

It's probably why they can't come-up with a correctly working tool for IR35 assessment - because such a tool would either have to include HMRC's made-up assumptions (in which case it's wrong and everyone points and screams "that's b*ll*cks") or it would have to ignore HMRC's assumptions and work only on facts (in which case most people would be outside of IR35 anyway, and that doesn't fit HMRC's wishes).

Imagine Python fan fiction written in C, read with a Lisp: Code lingo Nim gets cash injection

Rich 2


What is the obsession with creating a new programming languages? Surely there are enough of them around by now for at least one of them to be suitable for a particular application?

Pleasant programming playground paves popular Python path

Rich 2

Re: Excellent

Oh, I know Python has its place. Even outside of "rm *python*" :-)

I just don't think that place is as an introduction to good software engineering practice (the same goes for javascript - God help us!) - a knock-about hacky scripting language with do-as-you-like variable types and a bit of OO stuff bolted on (because that's cool), yea. Fine. But as a foundation of structured software discipline, I think not.

This is why we have a whole generation of software students that don't have the faintest idea about what's going on under the bonnet, and who's answer to a problem is to just include yet another couple of megabytes of random library code because they need to use a two-line function that it defines and they're not skilled enough to know otherwise.

Very soon, there will be nobody left with the skills to write those (non-Python) libraries and we'll have to go back to writing on stone slabs

Rich 2


This is fantastic!

We can have even more people learning Python and then pretending they know how to write code. It's a bit like learning how to draw with a crayon and then declaring that you're a top novelist.

It's a start though, so presumably once the student has completed this course they can then start the next course which introduces a real programming language like C or C++ or assembler?

Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war

Rich 2


Is the EU taking any steps to sue ICANN yet, does anyone know?

I'm guessing whois is still trundling along like it always has, so as it's illegal now, is the EU actually doing anything about it?

Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

Rich 2


The main reason the UK government might want ID cards is for tax collection purposes. It's certainly the main reason that Blunkett wanted them.

Once everyone has an ID card, they can be mandated for all sorts of things by gov services. As the only thing pretty much any government (and certainly the UK one, of whatever political colour) is interested in is money, that's what the ID cards will be used to track.

Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

Rich 2

Tooooooo Slooooooooooooooow

As you point out, when it comes to putting big biz in its place, the whole process is glacially slow. Why it (apparently) takes years to analyse a EULA or decide whether some blindingly obvious business practice is anticompetitive in a why that a blind man could see is completely beyond me.

And then, when a decision is finally made (often years after is matters any more - aka, the MS anti-trust thing), big biz is allowed a couple of years to respond before even thinking about going to court (which takes years more).

In the end, the whole thing is pointless

Instead, there should be strict time limits (a bit like leaving the EU :-) ) - say 1 week to read a EULA, half an hour to decide is some activity is anticompetitive, and a couple of weeks grace for response until the fines kick-in. And a court date that is this-side of the next millennia. That way, this sort of crap could be sorted within a month and big biz might actually start taking notice

I see you're trying to leak a file! US military seeks Clippy-like AI to stop future Snowdens

Rich 2


Am I correct in thinking that these days, "AI" is just a pseudonym for "data analysis" (you know - the stuff that we've been doing for donkeys). In the same way that "cloud" is a pseudonym for "server" ?

..."and from now on, radiation will be known as 'magic moon beams' "

China-based hackers take an interest in Cambodia's elections

Rich 2

Why don't systems like this simply block anything and everything from China/Russia/Somalia/<add gangster/anarchic/ruthless dictatorship of your choice> ?

In fact, why not just block all this stuff from even entering <add nice fluffy western democracy of your choice> entirely ?

Nothing good ever comes out of these countries. And if you really need to communicate with them, there's always the phone

Fitness app Polar even better at revealing secrets than Strava

Rich 2

Brave new world

It's bizarre that the default settings for anything involved with personal information seem to be "share will anyone that cares to look"

And I really must be getting very old but I'm baffled by people's desire/apathy to have their every movement tracked, whether it's running around the park, visiting your granny, or taking the bins out.

I've just come back from a lovely weekend away but I must be very strange because I don't feel any compulsion to advertise it on faecesbook or twitter, and while I was away, I didn't enable the satnav on my phone and sign up to "please-track-my-every-movement-and-post-it-on-the-internet.com"

Jeez! What is wrong with me?????!!!!!!

Four US govt agencies poke probe in Facebook following more 'oops, we spilled your data' shocks

Rich 2

Can't the gov stop Faecesbook trading until this is all cleared up?

Such action might finally force FB to cooperate - well, they wouldn't have anything else to do, would they?

Or, as has been mentioned above, just nuke the shit out of them

RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

Rich 2

Ah, The Herbs was quality! I loved it when I was little.

They, quite literally, don't make them like that any more; these creations were made with love - I don't see that in any modern CGI wham-bam garish animation

DNS ad-hocracy in peril as ICANN advisors mull root server shakeup

Rich 2

Re: Just say no

Ok, 12 is enough to be getting on with

Rich 2

Just say no

Of course, the 13 root server admins could just ignore ICANN.

And what could ICANN (or anyone else for that matter) do about it? Short of blocking the IP addresses of the servers (which would require an awful lot of co-operation from lots of other people), not much.

...and the cyber-world would carry on spinning...

Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros

Rich 2


I really hope the void peeps can sort out the problems.

I only very recently discovered void and I love it. It's very minimal and simple - just like BSD.

If you're the type that likes to actually understand what's happening (rather than blindly following a "click this then that. Enter your weight and hey presto! Your video will have sound now" then I can't recommend it enough.

It would be sad to see it go.

App devs bewildered by last-minute Google GDPR klaxon

Rich 2

Oh how funny is this?

Mmmm... let me see, as I fire up my fave phone app.

Oh. It's asking me if I fancy being tracked?

Errrrr... I think not.

When will the ad pushers get it that what they are pushing nobody actually wants? Especially, WHY would I want ads personalised for me? To "improve" my experience? No thanks

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

Rich 2


The main reason the heads became misaligned was because many commercial disks were deliberately formatted in a way that caused the drive to read a bad block - something to do with an anti-piracy mechanism. However this caused the drive to smash its heads against the end stop (often several times in very quick succession). No surprise it caused the failure rate to rocket.

Publishers tell Google: We're not your consent lackeys

Rich 2

Take the money and run

This "take the money, but accept absolutely no responsibility" thing is quite popular isn't it?

Brit healthcare system inks Windows 10 install pact with Microsoft

Rich 2

Re: For a laugh

Brilliant idea! It would certainly make passing patient data on to Google easier - the functionality is probably built-in :)

Mozilla wants to seduce BOFHs with button-down Firefox

Rich 2

Re: Put it out of its misery

I've probably been a bit slow to the party but I've just discovered Waterfox.

You could try it - it might just be what you're looking for

Brit semiconductor tech ended up in Chinese naval railgun – report

Rich 2


For decades, the US and Europe have been incredibly short-sighted in how they deal with China.

We have poured money into the country in the pursuit of [insert cheap commodity of your choice here], here in the UK, we have let them buy-out business after business. We're even letting them build and run a nuclear reactor for us, and it goes on and on and on

And while this is going on, you have a dictatorship running the place (China, not here :-)) of the likes never seen before in history, from a defence point of view they are much more dangerous than Russia ever was, and we point nuclear bombs at each other (just in case).

China is playing a very long game, and the rest of the world are walking straight into check-mate

US Pentagon scrambles after Strava base leaks. Here's a summary of the new rules: 'Secure that s***, Hudson!'

Rich 2

I'll be watching you

Of course, we need to get away from the apparently obsessive need to "share" everything we do. And we need laws to stop the obsessive collection of such data (though I fear it's WAY too late for that now).

Nobody seems to give a shit about their own privacy these days. In fact, we actively go out of our way to tell anyone who'll listen everything about ourselves.

And even when the consequences are pointed out, most people will just shrug and carry on regardless

It's as well we're destroying the planet we live on - we really are too stupid to live.

Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

Rich 2


What an unbelievable waste of time and money.

Of course "intellectual property theft" isn't actually the least bit important. People dying of malnutrician and war could be considered important. Destroying the planet we live on could be considered important.

Bean counting is not.

UK taxman has domain typo-squatter stripped of HMRC web addresses

Rich 2

Re: Typo squatting for selling the domain is one thing

...well not really - you have to ask WHO might they sell the domain to? And for what purpose?

It sounds like all the domains held by this outfit ought to be examined and removed from their control - what possible legitimate reason could they have for wanting to hang on to them?


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